NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Trio Of Winning Plays For Friday

Matthew Jordan

Friday, February 5, 2016 12:30 AM UTC

Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 12:30 AM UTC

I'm a glass half-full guy most times. There is a first-place showdown in the Ivy League. Here are my top three NCAA basketball picks for the night with BetOnline's odds.

Columbia vs. Yale (-6.5)
While winning a conference's regular-season title means very little in every other league, it means everything in the Ivy League as it's the only conference without a postseason tournament for its NCAA Tournament bid. Columbia (15-6, 4-0 Ivy) has won six straight games. Last time out, it got a buzzer-beater from Alex Rosenberg to win at Harvard after the Crimson missed the first of a one-and-one on the other end. It was Columbia's first win at Harvard since 2008. The Lions' three-game Ivy League road winning streak is their best in 18 years. Columbia has made only three NCAA Tournaments in school history and not since 1968. The 4-0 start is the school's best in the Ivy League in 22 years. Yale (13-5, 4-0 Ivy) has won eight in a row, its longest streak since 1961-62. You could see the Bulldogs might be good earlier this season when they only lost by two at a very good SMU team and were competitive in a loss at Duke. Yale is led by two-time Ivy League Player of the Week Brandon Sherrod. He was 15-for-15 from the field for a combined 38 points last week in wins over Penn and Princeton. Sherrod unbelievably has made 25 straight field goals, one shy of the NCAA record. He doesn't even lead the team in scoring. Yale has won 11 of the past 14 against Columbia. But the Lions won in Yale last season to end a six-game losing streak there. Back Yale at -6.5 NCAA Basketball odds. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. Yale has covered six of the past seven meetings at home.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Yale -6.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Central Michigan vs. Akron (-7)
This is a matchup of division leaders in the Mid-American Conference, with Akron (18-4, 7-2) atop the East and Central Michigan (13-9, 6-3) leading the West. CMU won at home vs. Kent State on Tuesday for its fourth straight win. Josh Kozinski led six Chippewas in double-figure points with 17. CMU shot a season-best 60.7 percent from the field while also hitting 48.3 percent from long range. Central's defense has been stellar during the winning streak, holding foes to a combined 37.3 percent shooting. Kent State was held 15 points below its scoring average. Akron won its fifth in a row Tuesday, 80-68 at Ohio. Josh Williams led the Zips with a career-high 20 points, missing just one of eight shots. Akron is also a good defensive team, allowing only 66.3 points per game. These schools met Jan. 12 in Mount Pleasant, a 92-81 Chippewas victory. Braylon Rayson had 24 points and Chris Fowler 20 as the Chips ended the Zips' 10-game winning streak. Akron hadn't lost to CMU since 2008. Central was down a point with 10 minutes left but went on a 9-0 run and led the rest of the way. Reggie McAdams scored 21 points to lead Akron.

Take Akron -5 with your NCAA Basketball picks. CMU is 3-12-1 ATS in its past 16 Friday games. Akron is 11-4 ATS in its past 15 at home. It has covered seven of the past nine meetings.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Akron -5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Saint Peter's vs. Siena (-10)
No first-place battle in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference here. Saint Peter's (8-12, 6-5) lost a fourth straight on Monday, 75-67 at home to Iona. The Peacocks got career highs from Quadir Welton (19 points) and Elisha Boone (15) in the loss. Saint Peter's was down 20 with about 10 minutes left but used a 28-13 run to make things interesting. Siena (15-8, 8-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped in a 93-87 home loss to conference-leading Monmouth on Monday. Javion Ogunyemi had a career-high 31 points in the Saints' first home loss of the season. Reigning MAAC Player of the Week Brett Bisping had 20 points and 14 rebounds. Siena turned it over 17 times and forced only seven giveaways. Siena lost at Saint Peter's 72-68 on Dec. 6. The Saints cut a 13-point deficit to two in the final seconds but couldn't finish the comeback. Welton scored 18 points and had eight rebounds for Saint Peter's. Marquis Wright led Siena with 20 points. The Peacocks have won four straight in the series. Side with Saint Peter's +8.5. The Peacocks have covered five of their past seven on the road. They also have covered four straight in the series. 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Saint Peter's +8.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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